I ANGERED a bus driver the other day.
I’m sure it wasn’t funny for him but I found it amusing how worked up he got.
The “set-to” arose as I was returning to the office from the Holme Valley, which required me to turn right at the infamous Lockwood Bar junction.
I’d waited for over 20 minutes due to road works at Armitage Bridge and was keen to get back to write up a piece of breaking news – ironically about a road traffic collision.
If you know the area you’ll know two lanes are allowed to turn right but they quickly disappear as the lanes merge – next to a bus stop.
You can see what’s coming I’m sure.
As I turned the corner and dealt with the person on the inside of me cutting me up I noticed a bus in the lay-by.
I was about 10ft behind it when it began to indicate and pull out.
“Do I inconvenience all the traffic behind me and slam on the brakes, leaving people stranded in the middle of the junction, or should I soldier on?” I said to myself.
Foot down, I went to buzz past, but unfortunately the bus driver had other ideas.
He kept going and made my gap a bit too tight.
I just sneaked through before the traffic island but it was a little bit close for comfort.
The bus driver sounded his horn for about 20 seconds, I kid you not, and followed me with his full beams on all the way into town.
It was a hot day so I had the window open when he caught up to me on the ring road and pulled up next to me.
“Highway Code Rule 223,” he screamed at me, in front of all his passengers.
“Do you engage your brain when you engage first gear?” he continued with his face getting redder and the veins in his temple bulging out.
“Obviously had that one pre-prepared,” I thought.
I tried to explain to him to the complicated circumstances that contributed to the unfortunate incident but he wasn’t interested.
“Don’t argue,” he shouted, “you’re supposed to let buses out.”
Verbal blows taken firmly on the chin I went home and looked up Highway Code Rule 223.
It says: Buses, coaches and trams. Give priority to these vehicles when you can do so safely, especially when they signal to pull away from stops. Look out for people getting off a bus or tram and crossing the road.
So there you go – complete evidence I did nothing wrong.
It wasn’t safe to give him priority.
I would also suggest you’re supposed to indicate before you pull out, not as you pull out.
You wouldn’t let me argue at the time so I’ve been forced to do it in print.